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Opinion: As Hurricane Season Approaches, It’s Time to Fix Disaster Funding
Our federal government should stop treating natural disasters as surprises

A school bus crosses a makeshift bridge for vehicles in Morovis, Puerto Rico, in December near where the original bridge was washed away by Hurricane Maria flooding. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is just over ten days away. As the nation continues to grapple with the emotional and economic scars of last year’s natural disasters, it is hard to fathom the possibility of a new spate of storms. And while we can’t predict the extent of trauma that awaits us in 2018, one thing is for sure — we are not prepared.

Last year, the United States saw 16 weather-related disasters that each exceeded $1 billion in costs and damages. Total costs of disaster recovery for the year are expected to surpass $300 billion.

Opinion: Trump’s Drug Pricing Plan Is Practical, but Is It Enough?
Administration’s blueprint aims to force drug companies to be more transparent

Opponents call President Donald Trump’s plan a win for pharmaceutical companies because it doesn’t ask Medicare to negotiate prices for Part B and D drugs, Wilensky writes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

A husband visits a local pharmacy to fill his ailing wife’s monthly asthma prescription, which costs $110. What he doesn’t know — and what his pharmacist can’t tell him — is that her Part D insurance plan isn’t helping to reduce the cost. In fact, it’s only hurting. They could have saved $35 by paying out-of-pocket.

That’s the kind of problem President Donald Trump aims to solve with his new drug price plan. The blueprint he released earlier this month is practical, focused squarely on executive actions that will force drug companies toward greater transparency. But will the White House’s pragmatism be enough?

Virginia GOP Primaries Overwhelmed by Personal Attacks, Candidates Say
Racist attacks on candidates’ names, fake blog posts on penis enlargement among the attacks

Corey Stewart, President Donald Trump’s Virginia campaign chairman for 2016 now running for the Senate says politics has always been a “blood sport.” (Corey Stewart for U.S. Senate via Facebook)

The Republican primaries in Virginia have become a haven for schoolyard bully tactics as candidates unleash personal attacks on each other in ways and to a degree seldom seen in American politics.

One candidate blazing that trail is Senate hopeful and President Donald Trump’s former state campaign chairman Corey Stewart.

A Long Fight Ahead for the Wisconsin GOP Senate Nomination
State Sen. Vukmir wins state GOP endorsement, but Nicholson not backing down

With the Wisconsin GOP endorsement, state Sen. Leah Vukmir gains access to the state party’s campaign apparatus for the Republican primary. (Leah Vukmir for U.S. Senate via Facebook)

Wisconsin Senate candidate Leah Vukmir scored a crucial victory at the state GOP convention on Saturday, taking home the party’s endorsement with 72 percent of the vote.

It was a blow to Marine veteran and businessman Kevin Nicholson, the top spender so far in the Republican primary field.

Opinion: From the Vatican, a Challenge to Bring Promise to Patients
Conference urges support for innovations in science and medicine in a collaborative, safe and ethical manner

The Pontifical Council for Culture and the Cura Foundation hosted the “Unite to Cure” conference at the Vatican last month. (Courtesy the Cura Foundation/Unite To Cure: Fourth International Vatican Conference)

The power of medical research is rapidly moving from the lab to the patient.

Since the 21st Century Cures Act was passed in 2016, we’ve seen exponential progress in personalized, data-driven medicine and regenerative and gene therapies that will help prevent and treat disease, and even cure patients. Swift advances in science hold great promise for patients in need. At the same time, we must maintain our national standards for safety and ethical responsibility.

Opinion: Cost of Living Is the Sleeper Issue of 2018
Voters less interested in Russia investigation and scandal

Customers shop at an Aldi grocery store on June 12, 2017, in Chicago. David Winston writes that the cost of living is a sleeper issue that’s likely to impact the outcome of the midterm elections. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

If there’s one question that I get asked by reporters these days, it’s “what’s the sleeper race to watch for this fall?”

The question I think they should be asking is “what’s the sleeper issue likely to impact the outcome of the elections this fall?” The answer is the cost of living, or COL, one of the most politically potent and underreported issues out there today.

Why Don Blankenship Is Still In the Mix on Eve of West Virginia Primary
Three-way Republican contest remains uncertain until the end

West Virginia Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship, right, talks with James Pendry after a town hall meeting at Macado’s restaurant in Bluefield, W.Va., on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — From the outside, it’s easy to dismiss the candidacy of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

The low-budget ads. The racist comments. The fact that he served a year in prison in connection with a deadly mine explosion and is still on probation.

Blankenship Blames Establishment For ‘Misinforming’ Trump
‘Remember Alabama,’ president tweets in urging West Virginia voters about Senate candidate he says can’t win

Don Blankenship, who is running for the Republican nomination for Senate in West Virginia, conducts a town hall meeting at Macado's restaurant in Bluefield on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

West Virginia GOP Senate candidate Don Blankenship suggested that establishment Republicans are “misinforming” President Donald Trump and telling him to oppose his campaign “because they do not want me to be in the U.S. Senate and promote the president's agenda,” the convicted felon and businessman wrote Monday morning on Facebook.

In a tweet earlier Monday, Trump urged Republicans in West Virginia not to make Blankenship the party’s nominee for Senate at the primary Tuesday.

Opinion: On Iran, It’s Not About the Art of the Deal
Trump has plenty of room to address issues with Iran without altering nuclear accord

An Iranian surface-to-surface missile during a military parade in Tehran in 2008. The U.S. has many options to constrain Iranian ballistic missile activity outside the nuclear agreement, Misztal writes. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump has sold himself as the consummate deal-maker. But while he has been clear-eyed about the Iran nuclear accord, he has perhaps been overly focused on its shortcomings. This risks not only losing sight of the deal’s one advantage and its true costs, but also replicating his predecessor’s mistake: reducing all Iran policy issues to the agreement.

President Barack Obama’s diplomatic perseverance made the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, possible, but it also became a restraint. During negotiations, and even after the deal was struck, the Obama administration did not confront Iran on other serious issues — its bloody involvement in Syria or the 2016 capture of 10 American sailors in the Persian Gulf — for fear of upsetting the accord.

Opinion: America Needs to Recommit to Investing in Science
The recent omnibus spending package is a good first step

A research technician at the New York Genome Center in 2013. Reviving federal investment in scientific research is crucial given the high costs associated with new technologies, Stockwell writes. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images file photo)

When it comes to science, the United States is getting its lunch handed to it by countries such as China, which not only invests more dollars into scientific research and development but also produces more undergraduate science and engineering majors than we do stateside.

The National Science Foundation’s Science & Engineering Indicators recently warned that U.S. dominance in scientific advancement is under serious threat. This warning was reaffirmed by the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index, in which the U.S. did not even rank among the top ten most innovative countries in the world anymore.